This was a big week for After a Fashion. While having a virtual meet-up on Monday, we decided to have a real-life dinner gabfest at Fire on the East Side Wednesday night, along with the divine Jen Evans (centre).
As we shared insightful conversation and lots of laughs over good eats and pretty martinis, there was a lot of discussion about why women in the social media space aren’t getting as much recognition as they should.
From my Bargainista perspective, most of the people pitching me are either women with little blogger-relations know-how or straight men who just don’t have the requisite passion for products or services targeted to women.
I interviewed some young PRs on twitter (note: predominantly male) and asked them where the females were. They said there are just as many Canadian women PR students and/or recent grads embracing social media but the males are far more active and vocal.
PodCamp Toronto 2008 was an unconference for podcasters and social media enthusiasts held in February. I was a member of the organizing team. We had 7 members (3 women; 4 men). We treated each other respectfully every step of the way. When it came to the actual sessions and attendees however, women were definitely in the minority. What was even more disconcerting was the lack of young girls. There were a handful of teens in attendance: all male.
Taking stock of the marketing/PR/corporate communications professionals who blog and podcast (I belong to that community too), the content creators are predominantly male.
Although based in Connecticut, Joseph Jaffe who wields a pretty big stick in the social media community, put out a call for requests to join his blogroll. At last count, 33 men and only 3 women responded.
The men in this community are a tight-knit group and share a lot of link love, not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing. On a one-to-one basis, they seem to have a lot of respect for their female peers but many only shower their love on a couple. When it comes to blogrolls and conference speakers, women are also noticeably absent. Why?
Women who are active in the digital and social media space can’t blame it all on the men. We can and should do a far better job of promoting ourselves and sharing the love. It’s up to us to make our voices heard and get more involved in the community.
As a start, I’ve added a new blogroll - Women who rock! - it lists my female friends and those I admire in this space (with the exception of those on the original Bargainista blogroll). Stay tuned for more real-life initiatives supporting women from the After a Fashion gals this spring.
So this week, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m wishing us gals will stand up and be counted. Have your voices heard and share the love!
Pictured (l-to-r) Michelle Tampoya, Connie Crosby, Kate Trgovac, Jen Evans, me, Kathryn Lagden and Jenny Bullough.